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The Hue and Cry at Our House

A Year Remembered
Narrated by: Benjamin Taylor
Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A memoir of one tumultuous year of boyhood in Fort Worth, Texas, opening with a handshake with JFK, and recalling the changes and revelations of the months that followed.

After John F. Kennedy's speech in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth on November 22, 1963, he was greeted by, among others, an 11-year-old Benjamin Taylor and his mother waiting to shake his hand. Only a few hours later, Taylor's teacher called the class in from recess and, through tears, told them of the president's assassination. From there Taylor traces a path through the next 12 months, recalling the tumult as he saw everything he had once considered stable begin to grow more complex. Looking back on the love and tension within his family, the childhood friendships that lasted and those that didn't, his memories of summer camp and family trips, he reflects upon the outsized impact our larger American story had on his own.

Benjamin Taylor is one of the most talented writers working today. In lyrical, translucent prose, he thoughtfully extends the story of 12 months into the years before and after, painting a portrait of the artist not simply as a young man, but across his whole life. As he writes, "[A]ny 12 months could stand for the whole. Our years are so implicated in one another that the least important is important enough...Any year I chose would show the same mettle, the same frailties stamping me at 11 and 12."

©2017 Benjamin Taylor (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Taylor’s self-portrait of an odd, bewildered boy born into the frightening middle of the 20th century is touching, and a little shattering... His brush with history has the breath of life." (Stephen Harrigan, New York Times Book Review)

"In this lyrical and brilliant memoir, Benjamin Taylor investigates his childhood with piercing clarity and unapologetic nostalgia. His insights are wise, his sense of humor always in evidence, and his yearning for lost time exquisitely palpable. Reading this book is like reading all of Proust in just under two hundred pages. It is an utterly enchanting little masterpiece." (Andrew Solomon)

“Part of the marvel of the The Hue and Cry at Our House is how one year of Taylor's life stands for the whole, which is a kind of microcosm of the magic of memoir, where one life can stand in for all of us.” (Los Angeles Times)

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